Jane’s Outlook on 2018 Design Trends

Trends are fads that grow up and make a point of sticking around long enough to be accepted by the family. Trends are more polite than fads and when people start to tire of them, they quietly go away.

Fads are very pushy, “Look at me!” they seem to yell; more in your face. Fads never stick around long enough to make a lasting impression or help with the dinner dishes.

Another cool thing about trends is that younger generations get to experience them for the first time. Where some of us have lived through the rose and jewel tone trend before, millennials are embracing them for the first time, loving them!

So, another year’s over and a new one is bringing with it all the predictions of what we’re going to see in 2018. Full disclosure, I dug up last years’ predictions to see how my track record is doing.

Wallpaper is still on a roll

First on the list was wallpaper re-emerging. It took some time off to improve itself and clean up its act. We are now embracing not just wallpaper but overall texture and pattern on the walls. Yes, it’s baaa-aack.

Rich, is in!

Along with jewel tones of burgundy, emerald green and purple, we’re seeing more black and dark elements. They bring a rich feeling to a space. But not on the floor, hardwoods are getting lighter, a perfect setting for rose or burgundy accents (as opposed to earth tones).

We’re going to see lots of black and gold, sometimes paired with pink, or navy. Other colours besides rose and burgundy making an appearance are olive green, mustard yellow, emerald green, coral, cobalt blue and amethyst (but not necessarily together!). Charcoal remains strong but needs to be enhanced with colours or accents so it doesn’t look too bland.

Mixing metals continues into 2018

Rose gold isn’t over, yet.

Velvet (especially in jewel tones) is going to continue its popularity. Like a good guest, it wears well. Reflective surfaces, like fabrics with iridescent shine and shimmer, will make an appearance, as well as graphic 3D patterns in geometric shapes.

Our design confidence grows with the economy

The authenticity of hand-drawn graphics that look sketched or doodled, artisanal craftsmanship in natural material and artistic weaves will also bring us back from the over-industrialized look we acquired when the economy dipped. When the economy grows our confidence and embellishments around us do too, that’s why tassels and fringe are back!

Nature is in, naturally.

Plants, including tropical and succulents, birch bark and grasses will find their way into homes. For real natural pattern and colour we will turn to the gemstone Onyx this year. From wire network-like lines, to clouds and striations you’ll find a variety of patterns all attributed to this banded and layered variety of the oxide mineral, chalcedony.

Is this the end of the living room?

Some trends seem to be more evolutionary than repetitive. For instance, is it too soon to predict the end of the living room? Formal front rooms are being absorbed into open floor plans. I’ve seen these spaces repurposed, some have become much-needed mudrooms.

Families are choosing condo life

Millennials will continue to adopt a European or New York state of mindset. Preferring to stay downtown in condos, raising their families where everything right is outside the door rather than copy their parents by moving to the suburbs.

Bigger may be better

Finally, I want to be the first to say that not all boomers will downsize, some are upsizing to accommodate multi-generational visitors. Enough clients have done this for me to see this as more than a fad, it’s becoming a trend. They’re finally getting the swimming pool and making their homes a recreational destination to keep family happy. Maybe some will even stick around to help with the dishes.

I’ll check back same time, next year to see If I can say, “I told you so!”.

Happy New Year!